When there is a hostile relationship or a non-existent relationship between a child and a non-custodial parent, there is a possibility that the non-custodial parent may be relieved of the obligation to contribute towards college expenses. In my prior blog, I discussed the impact of college financial support when the child won’t speak with the non-custodial parent.
After the blog was posted, many asked me whether or not a deteriorated relationship between a child and a non-custodial parent could result in the termination of the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation. The answer is almost always NO the child support obligation will not be terminated even if the child refuses to have a relationship with the non-custodial parent. (Note, however, where a custodial parent encourages such a circumstance or is the cause of the circumstance, continued custody of the custodial parent may be significantly impacted.)
Strictly for child support purposes, if the child has not moved “beyond the sphere of influence and responsibility” of the custodial parent and has not obtained “an independent status of his or her own”, the child would not be emancipated and the non-custodial parent would continue to have a duty of child support. Under this inquiry, unless the child is a celebrity and making their own appreciable amount of income, clearly any child under the age of eighteen and/or still a high school student will have not achieved an independent status. Therefore, if the child and non-custodial parent never see each other, never speak or the relationship is hostile, the non-custodial parent still has a duty to support that child.Continue Reading Child Support Obligation When the Child Won’t Speak to the Parent